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Thread: Questions about gated communities

  1. #1
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    Questions about gated communities

    hi all
    want to know more about what gated community is, and its relationship to urban sprawl.
    i've read a thesis related to this, and said there that the gated community privatized the urban space,
    is it the reason why then it was categorized as one of significant urban sprawl's element?

    thank you all

  2. #2
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    I'd guess because suburban gated communities require greenfield land and create individualised 'cells' which cannot be travelled through by pedestrians or even public transport. So they encourage car reliance. Most gated communities in Europe are urban in character rather then suburban, but the issue of fragmentation in terms of walking and public transport still rings true.

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    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    I have worked for a gated community, it had 2200 homes, 2 lakes, golf course, tennis courts, restraunt snack bar, ice cream shop, retail stores, etc and the predominant method of travel was by bike or golf carts, The speed limit was 5mph and was stricktly enforced by private security.
    The concept was that once the residents were inside the gates, there was no reason for them to leave except for employment or school for the children.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    Even if on that scale the car reliance arguments can be partly mitigated (i'll admit i have never seen anything even close to that scale), as it is not linked to rest of the community don't residents still have to drive to higher order services and retail? Plus what sort of obstacle does that put in the way of local people around it? Do they have to drive around the whole complex? You still get individualised 'cells', these aren't self sufficient communities in the traditional village or small town sense. Can a resident of one gated community travel into their neighbouring gated community to find a service or shop which they don't have for example?

    I'm going to ignore the social arguments completely.

  5. #5
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    In case you have not yet come across it, the book Fortress America taught me a great deal about gated communities.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    The one that I worked for was truley a gated comunity, spikes plates that were up and only were put down when the guard let you through. Residents had to come to one of the gates to sign a visitor in.
    We a had a State Police Officer who thought he could just drive in, (not in hot pursuit but just drive in) all four of his tires became flat and he had to call dispatch and arrange for a tow truck and then explain to his supervisor why he did this.
    You are right in that people who did not live there had to drive around the community,
    However one could argue that gas was saved in that once the residents were in the community they could do their shopping and recreation in the community and as I said before the prevelant means of transportation within the community was by bike (pedal) or by golf cart (electric)
    There was also a gas station, lumber yard, hardware store, grocery store, and other stores- all owned by the parent organization, And prices were kept competitive,
    they also bought electric wholesale and retailed to the members in the community. They had their own water system. Basically a private city.
    I was in negotiation with a another private commutity similar to this but with their own airport, but during the contract negotiations I decided to go back to municipal work at a lower salary. (A head hunter had approached me about working for them)
    I am not defending or degrading the gated community but only relating to you about the one that I worked for and the one that I came close to working for.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    The Villages in central Florida has som 50,000 dwelling units, Several hundred holes of golf and I can't remember how many (over 10) million square feet of comkmercial. The resididential areas ("villages" of a few hundred homes are gated but access through the area is via public roads built by the developer andturned over to the County(s). The individual Villages and the recreation and commercial areas are all tied together via a system of "transportation trails" that are used by pedesterians, bikes, and golf carts. The community is so well balanced residential to commercial that the internal trip retention is around 70+ %. Of course the community is age restricted so no school kids. The commercial is accessed by the local community as well and makes the developer $. In addition, the fact that such a low % of the trips are external also keeps the transportation costs assigned to the developer within reason.

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